Fixture: (6) Nadia Podoroska vs (4) Ekaterina Alexandrova
Date: 13 November 2020
Tournament: Upper Austria Ladies Linz Open 2020
Venue: Linz, Austria
Category: WTA International
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $202,250
Match timing: Approx. 4.30 pm local time, 9 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel
Nadia Podoroska vs Ekaterina Alexandrova preview
Fourth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova will take on sixth seed Nadia Podoroska for a semifinal spot at the Linz Open on Friday.
Even though Alexandrova is the higher-ranked player, it is Podoroska who has made more headlines recently - highlighted by a sensational showing at Roland Garros. Entering the claycourt Major as a qualifier, the Argentine made it all the way to the semifinals, winning eight matches in the process.
It took an absolutely spectacular performance from the eventual champion Iga Swiatek to stop Podoroska in Paris.
But even though she was a relatively unknown name at the highest level of the tour before Roland Garros, Podoroska has been doing well on the ITF circuit for quite some time now. Even this year, the 23-year-old won a couple of ITF 25,000 events as well as an ITF 60,000 event before her breakthrough run in the French capital.
The 48th-ranked Podoroska has brought all of her confidence and fearlessness into the last tournament of the season at Linz too. She started her campaign with an impressive 6-4, 6-4 win over Irina-Camelia Begu, and then fought for more than 2.5 hours to get past the 2018 champion Camila Giorgi 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4.
World No. 33 Ekaterina Alexandrova, meanwhile, made a fabulous start to the 2020 season by winning the Shenzen Open. The 25-year-old followed that up with a semifinal at St. Petersburg, but has failed to match those highs since.
The tour restart has been especially unkind for Alexandrova, as she has managed to string together back-to-back wins only once in eight events.
The Russian seems determined to change that though, and has looked very sharp in her two outings so far this week. She first blew away Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 6-4, and then knocked out Varvara Gracheva 7-5, 6-1 to reach the quarters.
Nadia Podoroska vs Ekaterina Alexandrova head-to-head
Nadia Podoroska and Ekaterina Alexandrova have never crossed paths on the tour, so their head-to-head record currently stands at 0-0.
Nadia Podoroska vs Ekaterina Alexandrova prediction
Ekaterina Alexandrova has been one of the most consistent performers at the Linz Open in recent times, having reached at least the semifinal the last two years.
Alexandrova was particularly impressive in 2018, where she reached the final from the qualifying stages. Ranked 119th, she beat veterans Andrea Petkovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before losing to Camila Giorgi in the title match.
Last year the Russian reached the last-four stage again, before bowing out to 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in a tight three-setter.
Alexandrova likes to serve big and take the ball on the rise, a style that suits indoor conditions. On Friday she will look to take time away from Nadia Podoroska, who is more comfortable in slower conditions.
Moreover, the Argentine is coming off a marathon duel with Giorgi that lasted 2 hours 32 minutes. If the quarterfinal match against Alexandrova stretches long again, it could take a toll on Podoroska.
Prediction: Ekaterina Alexandrova to win in three sets.Published 13 Nov 2020, 00:00 IST